No Met has worn the number 31 since Mike Piazza in 2005, and if common sense prevails, no Met will ever wear it again. Common sense does not always prevail, however. David Lennon of Newsday has the story:
It was an amicable parting back then -- Piazza even said so in his newly released autobiography, "Long Shot" -- but his relationship with the Mets has cooled some over time, according to people familiar with the situation.
As for the Mets, the jury is still out. The committee for the franchise's own Hall of Fame has yet to meet on any of this year's candidates, including Piazza, but the Mets weren't thrilled by some of the catcher's comments about the club in "Long Shot."
COO Jeff Wilpon, who has the last word on both the Hall of Fame's recommendations and the retired numbers, was criticized in the book as Piazza claimed Wilpon urged him to play with an injury in a spring training game because it was a sellout. Piazza also ripped longtime media relations director Jay Horwitz, who happens to be a member of the Mets' HOF committee, for not doing a better job of shielding the team's players.
Piazza, 44, was not voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January despite overwhelming qualifications. He released his memoir about a month later, discussing a number of topics in addition to Wilpon and Horwitz.
Lennon says there is little -- if any -- communication between the Mets and Piazza these days, and the backstop turned down an invitation to attend SNY's unveiling of the 50 greatest players in franchise history (he was number six) last summer. Piazza hit .296/.373/.542 with 220 homers in parts of eight seasons in New York and ranks seventh on the franchise's all-time WAR list (22.8).
There are currently 26 players in the Mets Hall of Fame. Longtime closer John Franco was inducted last year.
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